Posted: Friday, December 2, 2022. 2:16 pm CST.
By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: On Thursday, December 1, 2022, the Government of Belize through the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management, in collaboration with the Taiwan Embassy held the closing ceremony for the Belize Urban Resilience and Disaster Prevention (BURDP) and launched the inception of a US$1.6 million project entitled Flood Warning Capacity Improvement for the Belize River Basin.
In 2019, the Governments of Belize and the Government of Taiwan signed an agreement for the BURDP, a US$1.2 million project.
The project resulted in drainage improvement in the Cayo District; the production of updated cadastral, flood potential and digital elevation maps for the Cayo District; as well as the installation of four hydrometeorological stations that are utilized by the National Meteorological Service of Belize to obtain real-time forecasting data.
The new project launched will build on the work that commenced through the BURDP project by expanding the scope of the monitoring technologies, improving disaster preparedness capabilities, and strengthening disaster response capabilities.
In his remarks, Orlando Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management, provided an overview of the outputs of the BURDP and emphasised that the Flood Warning Capacity Improvement Project will undoubtedly increase Belize’s resilience toward the impacts of climate change.
“The Flood Warning Capacity Improvement for the Belize River Basin will bridge the hydrometeorological gap between the Cayo District and Belize City – a steppingstone toward better preparedness and management. It will expand on the existing flood early warning system and provide opportunities for capacity building that will boost local technical capabilities in disaster management and improve our country’s resilience toward the increasing impact of climate change,” he stated.
Ambassador of Taiwan to Belize, David Kuan-Chou Chien delivered the keynote address in which he spoke about one of the major outputs of the BURDP and expressed his hopes that with the new project, it could be expanded to the entire Belize River Basin.
“Under the project, Taiwan’s mature disaster prevention technology was able to assist Belize establish an early warning system and improve the government’s disaster prevention and relief capabilities. Based on the successful experience of the project, I am delighted to sign the ‘Flood Warning Capacity Improvement for the Belize River Basin’, in hope of extending Taiwan’s disaster prevention technology to the entire Belize River Basin,” Ambassador Chien stated.
Among those present at the ceremony were Dr. Kenrick Williams, CEO in the ministry, representatives from the Taiwan Technical Mission in Belize (ICDF) and the Taiwan Diplomatic Mission, and staff of the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management.
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